Church Adapts to Serve New Demographic

Pastor Jason Parades and campus pastor Ender Palencia speaking during a Fielder Church worship service Source: Biblical Recorder

Fielder Church of Arlington, Texas is adapting and adjusting to meet the needs of the community it serves by forming a bilingual ministry.

According to lead pastor, Jason Paredes “Fielder Church is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual church, gospel-centered and mission-centric.”

As the city of Arlington has grown, its culture has changed and its streets and buildings modernized. Fielder Church has adjusted too, ensuring that the 63-year-old church continues to reflect the community it serves.

Lead Pastor said, “We strive to inhale the gospel every day and exhale the gospel wherever we are.”

Over the past two decades, Fielder Church has gone from being 90% English-speaking to now holding the majority of its multiple services in Spanish at two of its three campuses.

“Twelve years ago I began to pray that God would move me to a place where I could have bigger influence, and that time came when I had the opportunity to lead in the planting of the East Arlington campus,” Paredes said. “From the beginning, I wanted that campus to be fully bilingual.”

For Fielder Church, that meant a recalibration of its planning for worship so that the services could be more inclusive of the congregation’s diverse constituents. The church created teams at every level to ensure musical selections, scriptures, and designs could be effectively translated to reflect the church’s changing demographics.

Each service, whether in English or Spanish, receives the same quality attention and care to help people grow spiritually.

Pastor Paredes said, “The services are done at the same level, with the same love and the same care. If something doesn’t work in Spanish then it won’t be used in English either and vice versa.”

Sometimes this has led to eliminating a song from the worship experience because its title doesn’t make sense in both English and Spanish.

“There are always tough decisions to make,” Paredes said. “Sometimes Ender beats his head asking, ‘Guys, can’t you see how this just doesn’t work in Spanish?’

“More and more people are realizing that if they are mono-cultural they are running away from something,” Paredes said. “At one of our baptism events we were thousands of people gathered at the lake from different cultures. There were Anglos, Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, mixed families. …

“People walked up to the baptism and wondered what is going on. How do you all get along? How do you find ways to love each other despite the differences? The gospel does that. It breaks down the walls of hostility. That is seen most clearly when that group comes under one banner – the banner of Christ. And a lost world can recognize that. It’s a powerful testimony.”

Source: Biblical Recorder